Saturday, September 29, 2012
[Miami, Florida – 9/11/2012] United Chinese Association of Florida (UCAF), along with City of Sunny Isles Beach and Miami-Dade County Park & Recreation Department, are delighted to host the 10th annual South Florida Dragon Boat Festival at the beautiful Haulover Park, Miami, Florida.
This fall Haulover Park will be full of colorful flags and sounds of rhythmic drumming from teams of competing.  This year, South Florida Dragon Boat Festival will be held on Saturday, September 29, 2012, from 9 am to 5 pm at the Haulover Park - 10800 Collins Avenue, Miami, FL 33154.
The South Florida Dragon Boat Festival draws hundreds of competitors, thousands of spectators and an abundance of excitement and cultural experiences. The dragon boat competition illustrates camaraderie, teamwork and inspiration. Dragon Boat Racing was born out of a 2,000-year-old Chinese legend, and it’s still very active, as it remains a tradition to this day.
“We are so excited that we are able to complete the acquisition of 8 new boats for the 2012 festival and races will consist of 4-lane races,” says Johnson Ng, UCAF Executive Director.  “Teams with the fastest times go all the way to the final stages not only winning trophies, but also cash prizes awarded to the top three teams to celebrate our 10th Annual South Florida Dragon Boat Festival.”  
The opening ceremony will be held at 12 noon to kickoff the cultural program.
For those individuals not taking part in the races, there will be a free program full of cultural performances, such as Lion dancing, Kung Fu demonstrations by Julie Drapkin - a 14-year-old black belt Shaolin Kung Fu National Champion, live stage entertainment by Viva Classic Rock & Roll Band and Fusion Gitana, and other community groups featuring music and games throughout the day.  
Spectators will also enjoy an exciting Egg Roll Eating Contest and a classic auto exhibit, which will also be held on the same day.  During the event, there will be a wide variety of delicious and authentic Asian and international food selection, commercial stalls for company promotions, health & fitness exhibits, arts & crafts, and a series of activities carried out for children and adults to enjoy.
Coral Springs Chinese Cultural Association will assist at the Kids Corner with children’s games.
Oh, and it is free admission for everyone!  However, Haulover Park’s parking fee is $6 per vehicle.
United Chinese Association of Florida, a community-based organization, was founded in 2003. The Festival is in its 10th year to promote the social, cultural and economic well-being of Florida’s Chinese populations-at-large and the understanding of Chinese culture and traditions.
“We sincerely hope that you will join us in making the 10th Annual South Florida Dragon Boat Festival a great success,” says Winnie Tang, President of UCAF. “We are certain that this event will fully satisfy your interests and expectations.  I thus invite you to consider the possibility of becoming a sponsor or an exhibitor in this unique opportunity!  For those who wish to become a vendor, please call 954-604-1515, for becoming a dragon boat team participant, please call 305-345-8489, email at UCAF@bellsouth.net or visit www.MiamiDragonBoat.com for more information.”
In the fourth century B.C., China was undergoing political and military strife. This era is also known as the Warring States period. Qu Yuan, disgruntled with the ruler and the state of affairs, protested against the regime by jumping into the Mi Lo River. According to legend, local fishermen, upon seeing their beloved poet's act of courage, raced out with their boats in an attempt to save him. To their dismay, they arrived too late. To prevent his body from being eaten by the fish, they beat the waters furiously with their paddles and threw rice dumplings wrapped in silk into the river to distract the fish. The re-enactment of the villagers racing out to save Qu Yuan has become today's dragon boat race festival. Celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, dragon boat festival is not only one of the most important Chinese traditions second to Chinese New Year, but now is an annual event held in over 40 countries.